Neandertals as far east as China? That is what a new study is suggesting. eNews reports :
Geneticist Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and colleagues compared mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from bones found from two sites -- one in Teshik Tash, Uzbekistan and the other from the Altai Mountains in Siberia -- with those of specimens from different European sites.
Scientists looking at the morphology of the remains from the central Asian sites have long disagreed as to whether they came from Neanderthals or Homo sapiens sapiens, the species name for modern man. Paabo's results settle the debate. The study, published in the British journal Nature, confirms that the adult fossils -- about 40,000 years old -- from Okladnikov Cave in Siberia genetically match the European Neanderthal.
The thought then, is that if they got to Siberia, they most likely got further south, into China.